Ethanol to Hydrogen Conversion - by Proteum Energy - India Renewable Energy Consulting – Solar, Biomass, Wind, Cleantech
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Ethanol to Hydrogen Conversion – by Proteum Energy

Here’s an article posted in Ethanol Producer.

According to the article,

  • Proteum Energy has developed a technology that can turn ethanol into hydrogen.
  • The process of turning ethanol into hydrogen qualifies for California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard credits as well as 45Q tax credits.
  • Proteum intends to enter the hydrogen market through ethanol.
  • The company plans to partner with ethanol producers or buy ethanol gallons directly from them.


Proteum Energy’s process of converting ethanol to hydrogen involves several steps, primarily utilizing steam reforming and water-gas shift reactions. Here’s a detailed explanation of the process:

  1. Feedstock Preparation: Ethanol, which can be derived from biomass sources like corn or sugarcane, serves as the primary feedstock. It’s important to ensure the ethanol is of high purity, typically exceeding 95%.
  2. Steam Reforming: The first step in the process is steam reforming, where ethanol reacts with steam (H2O) in the presence of a catalyst such as nickel (Ni) at elevated temperatures (around 700-900°C) and moderate pressures. The chemical equation for this reaction is:C2H5OH (ethanol) + 3H2O (steam) -> 6H2 (hydrogen) + 2CO2 (carbon dioxide)This reaction yields hydrogen gas and carbon dioxide. The produced hydrogen gas is further purified to remove any remaining impurities.
  3. Water-Gas Shift Reaction: The next step is the water-gas shift reaction, which is used to further increase the hydrogen yield and decrease the carbon monoxide (CO) content in the gas stream. This reaction is typically carried out using a catalyst such as iron oxide (Fe3O4) at temperatures ranging from 200-400°C:CO (carbon monoxide) + H2O (steam) -> CO2 (carbon dioxide) + H2 (hydrogen)By shifting the equilibrium towards the production of hydrogen and carbon dioxide, the concentration of CO in the gas stream is reduced.
  4. Purification: After the water-gas shift reaction, the gas mixture is typically cooled and passed through purification units to remove any remaining impurities, such as sulfur compounds and trace contaminants.
  5. Compression and Storage: The purified hydrogen gas is then compressed to the desired pressure for storage or transportation. Hydrogen is commonly stored either in gaseous form in high-pressure tanks or as a liquid at cryogenic temperatures.
  6. Utilization: The produced hydrogen can be utilized in various applications, including fuel cells for transportation, industrial processes such as ammonia production, and power generation.

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Narsi, a Director at EAI, Co-founded one of India's first climate tech consulting firm in 2008.

Since then, he has assisted over 250 Indian and International firms, across many climate tech domain Solar, Bio-energy, Green hydrogen, E-Mobility, Green Chemicals.

Narsi works closely with senior and top management corporates and helps then devise strategy and go-to-market plans to benefit from the fast growing Indian Climate tech market.

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